Hurricanes tonight at PNC Arena against Minnesota Wild.
Last time these two teams met just before Thanksgiving. Carolina looked like they might be headed for a one nothing win. And then Sam Steele scored with about two and a half minutes left. Carolina lost in overtime.
It was a string of overtime losses for the Hurricanes. But I think we found out a lot about the Minnesota Wild and that they are a big, physical, fast, skilled, determined team that is not to be trifled with. Lindsey Brown covers the West in the NHL. And she knows more about the Minnesota Wild than we do. So let's talk to Lindsey Brown.
At LindseyBrown35 on Twitter. You played. Did you not?
I did, Adam. Thank you so much for having me on. It's an absolute pleasure. But I was a goaltender in life that seems completely different from mine now.
But it certainly helps in the current one that I live. No question about it. Alright, so from your perspective, tell me what is most impactful about what the Wild do on a night in, night out basis? Well, I think when you look at what you do in the game in terms of playing it out, they're a team that takes a lot of pride in what we call the little things in the game and getting back on four checks and taking the body in and getting pucks deep. But there's a different kind of aura around the Minnesota Wild ever since Kirill Kaprizov has gotten to this team. There's not just a guy that we can rely on, a guy that you can be inspired by in the way that he plays, the manner in which he approaches his game each night. He's a superstar, but he glows into the grimy areas.
He's not afraid to take a check. That's actually what makes him the best. And when you have somebody that you can kind of emulate and play after as a team, I think it just trickles down the lineup entirely.
Lindsey Brown is joining us here because from afar, it looks like he doesn't fit because it's a weird dynamic with this team. Like, Carolina and Minnesota are basically identical in terms of goals for, goals against. But the difference is that while Carolina creates tons of scoring opportunities about, if you're looking at grade A's, high danger chances, about 150 more than Minnesota has this year. Yet, Minnesota converts more of theirs than Carolina does, and the goals are about the same. Like, is it just the high end of Kaprizov?
Or is there something else about it? But it does look like he's the outlier there. Well, he's certainly the outlier, and they found some sort of chemistry with him and Matt Zuccarello, who they brought in on free and see a couple years before Kaprizov arrived from Russia. And Sam Steele has been a centerman between those two guys since Ryan Hartman went out with an injury a few months ago. Hartman's now back in the lineup, but whoever plays with them seems to find a different level.
And it's interesting the comparison between the two teams and how you mentioned their meeting earlier this season, because arguably that game against Carolina in which the while were victorious in overtime turned around their season. They were in absolute disarray to start the year. They're letting in way too many goals. They can score goals, but it seemed like they were feeding off the energy that we can compete with these guys, these guys being the Carolina Hurricanes, one of the cream of the crop teams in the NHL. And they out defense the rod, the bod defensive complex, which is, you know, that's such a bod in highly intentional way to exist. And so that's where the Minnesota while they're so much differently constructed because they're in cap constraints because they bought out right.
They thought out Zach crazy. And so the fact that they've been able to finagle the roster. And as you said, produce at the same level as a team like the Carolina Hurricanes, which has been building for years and years and years is actually really impressive. And I think a direct result of the greatness that is Bill Garrett at the general manager position.
Lindsey Brown is joining us here. If you have people, a lot of people forget. I mean, salary cap. Hell has not stopped them. They got off to a best.
I would do with 78 and two since then, 18 six into one of the best records, maybe the best record in the Western Conference. Matt Boldy has been a big part of that. They've already given him a big contract extension. What is this young guy that a lot of people don't know about?
What does he bring? Well, I think it's really impressive that the wild organization thought, you know what, let's give this 21 year old $7 million to the next seven years. I think that speaks a lot to the character of Matt Boldy, who was definitely mature physically for his age. He's only 21 years old, and he's already, you know, six to just over 200 pounds. Some of those guys take a little bit longer to grow into. Because we're having a 25. You just have more time to go in your body in terms of like what Matt brings. He's an electric talent.
He has great timing on his shot. You. Whoops. At Lindsey Brown, 35 disappeared from the Internet.
And it was it's not a it's not an Elon Musk issue, though. Well, we'll try to reconnect with Lindsey Brown. Maybe she can finish that thought because I want to ask her as a former goalie about goaltending because I believe we're going to see Marc Andre Flurry tonight, even though throughout the year, he has not been the better goaltender.
It has been Philip Gustafson that has been the better goaltender for the Minnesota Wild. So we'll see. We'll see what happens here with Lindsey Brown. If we can get her back real quick, we can finish that conversation. If not, we have other things that we can do. I will say this about Minnesota. There is whenever you are a team that knows that they can capitalize and that's what the high end of guy like Capri's off and there are other guys, too, that they can do is that they only need the little crack.
They only need the one chance to get you. That's what Carolina would like to have from Apache already or a speech to cough who hasn't scored now. And I believe nine games. Let's let's finish up with Lindsey Brown. And let me just go right here as a former goaltender. Mark Andre Flurry hasn't been better than the other guy so far this year in terms of performance. Obviously, we know what Mark Andre Flurry is about. Philip Gustafson doesn't have that track record. But what have you seen from Flurry this year? That makes you think that maybe he can be the guy in the postseason that can carry Minnesota further than maybe anybody thought they'd go. Well, Mark Andre Flurry is an absolute athletic freak. We all know that, but what makes him really special in this league is the legend of him, the energy that he brings into the room and just that levity as well, because there are character guys in the locker room, but they're also guys who will kind of cut the tension with the knife by making an offhand comment or just able to kind of alleviate that tension in the room. He does that.
And you're right. He has struggled at times this year. He was the one weathering a lot of the storm early in the season, as I mentioned in our, in our chat, uh, when the wild are really figuring things out defensively.
And the thing about Mark Andre Florian, because he's so athletic, sometimes he tends to get outside himself. He'll, he'll chase angles a little bit. He'll get a little bit too far outside of his crease. And so if that rebound is there, they're going to have a lot of net to shoot at, but it's a while they're playing well defensively and not just from their defense when they're forwards.
So that's really where it is. Are you picking up people in the high slot? Are you making sure you're getting the shooting lanes with the defense men that really alleviate a lot of pressure for the goaltender? And so ultimately the regular season is just getting you ready for the post season.
If your team is good enough to win more games and they lose. And I have the full confidence that Mark Andre Flurry is going to be ready to support the team in the way that it needs come post season time. But Phil Gustafson has had a very good bounce back few weeks. He's been the better of the two net miners and he played against Washington the other night and made 34 or 36 saves. And so they weren't expecting a power tandem as they probably were with Kim Talbot when he was on roster before, but then there was all that drama at the draft and he ends up in Ottawa. And so I honestly think that the goaltending is not necessarily something they need to worry about as much.
It's that defensive structure from their forward group. All right. Final things. I know you cover the West. Things are okay with the Colorado Avalanche? Well, I mean, when everybody is as injured as they are, it's really hard to find that consistent energy each night to kind of return to. And Jared Bednar has done a great job in navigating that.
I have a lot of questions about their goals that are out there to coordinate. I think he's very talented, but he's kind of like a spider monkey goal center with a wrap himself around the post and he'll explode, but almost a little bit too far too often. So you can kind of catch him off his ankles a bit, but I'm never going to pick against the Avalanche if they have mckinnon, if they have mccar, if they have landed dog, if they have machines, but that hasn't been their reality during the regular season. And so they're just holding on for dear life to get enough points to get in and, and to get healthy. And once they're, I mean, all that's rough, how do you pick against the team with that much talent? All I, all I could dream of is like being the one seed and all of a sudden, wait a second, the avalanche are the second wildcard team? Right. That seems very unfair to me. Go win a bunch on the road and you're out to another Stanley cup, but I think it'd be really hard for them to repeat. I think what we saw from Tampa Bay, you know, just about a decade ago from Pittsburgh is going to be an anomaly more than something that's going to happen often.
Especially if you can't stay healthy at Lindsey Brown 35 on Twitter. I appreciate your time. We'll do it again. Thanks Adam.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 18:30:30 / 2023-01-19 18:35:04 / 5